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Revealed: The cost of replacing lost items

Where are your keys? What about your mobile phone? Did you forget your umbrella on the bus this morning? For many of us, those questions elicit a jolt of worry, as we remember all the times we’ve managed to lose our things. But how many do you reckon you lose in a lifetime?

The average person loses more than 3,000 possessions in their lifetime - including 384 pens, 192 items of clothing and 64 umbrellas, according to research from My Nametags .

We typically misplace four items a month – but children are (not surprisingly) even worse – typically losing seven items per month, such as school jumpers, books, stationery, socks and toys. In fact, children will lose more than 1,000 items throughout their school years!

The cost of replacing these items isn’t cheap either, with the average person forking out £4,480 over their lifetime to replace possessions they lost.


Costs of carelessness

Some losses are more irritating than devastating – pens, umbrellas and make-up are a pain to replace, but aren’t usually too expensive.

But what about the larger items, such as mobile phones, keys and bank cards?

If these items go missing, it’s best to act quickly. If money has been stolen from your bank account, or your debit or credit card has been used fraudulently, you should be able to get that money back. You will be liable for any unauthorised withdrawals made by your bank or building society, up to a maximum of £50, so it’s best to get in touch with them as soon as you realise.

 If the bank or building society can prove you were grossly negligent, you may be liable for all of the losses – but this means more than ordinary carelessness. For example, if you told someone else the PIN for your bank card, or left it written where anyone could see it in your workplace.


If you lose your car keys, you may find your car insurance policy will pay towards the cost of new key and associated locks.

Note that if the keys, lock transmitter or entry card are either left in or on the car at the time of the loss, or taken without your permission by a member of your immediate family, or a person living in your home, then you won’t be covered.


Should you get mobile phone insurance?

If you have a smartphone, chances are someone has tried to sell you mobile phone insurance at some point.  

If you decide to take out mobile phone insurance, make sure you check the wording around what counts as ‘loss’ and what it says about forgetting your phone or accidentally leaving it somewhere.

You should also note that some insurers won’t cover you – for the phone itself or for unauthorised calls and downloads – if you leave it more than 24 hours (or 12 hours for some insurers) before reporting it to them and/or the police.

Some home insurance policies will cover you for possessions such as mobile phones and laptops, so it may be worth checking into this too.


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